Parsley leaf is popularly known as scent leaf in the western part of Africa. It is fondly and locally known and called Effirin by the Yoruba’s and Nchanwu in Igbo land.
What is Parsley?
Parsley (Petroselinum hortense and Petroselinum crispum) is an herb that originated in the Mediterranean region of southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is used as an herb, a green leafy vegetable, and as a spice in its fresh and dried form. Actually, both the leaf and the root are used in Mediterranean and European cuisines. It is consumed in many different ways, including garnishing, salads, stocks, and sandwiches. The leaf is further divided into two more types: curly leaf and flat leaf.
Parsley, a predominantly tropical plant, needs moisture and ample sunlight to grow. The root form is a new addition, which only began to be cultivated about 300 years ago, and was first grown in Hamburg, Germany. Nowadays, root parsley is steadily becoming more popular. Parsley root is high in vitamin C and a good source of iron and can be cooked similar to other root vegetables such as carrots and turnips. They go great in salads, stews, soups or soften and pureed into sauces.
Let’s take a look at the top health benefits of parsley, in detail, below:
Rich source of antioxidants
Parsley contains several flavonoid antioxidants including luteolin, apigenin, lycopene, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene. The British Journal of Nutrition published a study that suggests that parsley helps to protect the cells from free radical damage. This free radical damage increases the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems, and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, parsley may have a role in helping prevent many of these chronic diseases.
Promotes kidney cleansing
Research published in 2002 revealed that parsley is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help cleanse the kidneys naturally. For many centuries now, it has been used as a diuretic that helps against kidney stones, gallbladder stones, bladder infections, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
A kidney-cleanse can be done, under medical supervision, through the intake of the herb in dishes, parsley tea, parsley juiced with other vegetables, or parsley lemon water. The roots of the herb are also very useful in counteracting kidney stones.
Reduces water retention (Edema)
A 2013 study states that parsley has diuretic properties, which help in providing relief from bloating, edema, or water retention. If you are afflicted by this condition, a few teaspoons of its juice can provide some quick relief.
Also, the juice is an excellent natural remedy to counteract the electrolyte and mineral lowering effects of over-the-counter chemical diuretics. Potassium is one of the main minerals lost with over-the-counter diuretic use. Parsley, with its rich potassium content, helps you avoid the undesirable side effects of a mineral imbalance.